If it wasn’t bad enough for California to spend taxpayer dollars on an overbudget project which outsourced jobs to China, the ARRC intends to use federal money to outsource steel to a foreign steel supplier. From AISC’s website:
(Chicago, IL) – The National Steel Bridge Alliance (NSBA) has issued a detailed statement outlining their objection to the Alaska Railroad Corporation (ARRC) on their intent to use federally provided funding to purchase foreign steel and off-shore fabrication for the Tanana River crossing and related projects. The $190 million Tanana River Bridge Crossing project is being developed as part of the Alaska Railroad Corporation’s Northern Rail Extension, which would provide the military year round access to the Joint Pacific Area Range Complex (JPARC) military training grounds. Federal funding for this project has come from the Federal Railroad Administration, Federal Transit Administration, and the U.S. Department of Defense has already provided $104 million.
via NSBA Addresses ARRC Abuse of Federal Funds for $190 Million Tanana River Bridge Crossing Project.
The NSBA News Newsletter published the facts about the supposed $400 million in savings provided by outsourcing steel fabrication to China. It turns out that the project is now $5.2 billion over budget.
According to The New York Times, “The new Bay Bridge, expected to open to traffic in 2013, will replace a structure that has never been quite the same since the 1989 Bay Area earthquake. At $7.2 billion, it will be one of the most expensive structures ever built. But California officials estimate that they will save at least $400 million by having so much of the work done in China. (California issued bonds to finance the project, and will look to recoup the cost through tolls.)”
Caltrans claims to have outsourced the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge project to reduce costs and save time. However, the project is now $5.2 billion over budget and the Chinese steel was delivered more than a year behind schedule (to date, the total project is more than 3 years behind schedule).
You can read more in NSBA News July 2011. They also look at other aspects such as environmental impact, Buy-American loopholes, wasted tax dollars, tax losses, and job losses to the local economy.